27 April 1980

To the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors (AMCI)

On Sunday 27th April, members of the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors offered the Holy Father a modern mobile Reanimation Unit. The ceremony  took place in the St. Damasus’ Courtyard in the Vatican, where the Pope met  a large group of representatives of the Association  after the Marian prayer with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square. John Paul II delivered the following address:

Gentlemen of the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors!

I am happy to meet you again in this St. Damasus Courtyard, after what may be called the official and solemn meeting I had, at the beginning of the Pontificate, with this Association, and to express to you again my satisfaction and approval of your well-deserving humanitarian activity, and, even more, the Christian inspiration that enlightens and directs it.

To these feelings of sincere appreciation are added today my no less grateful feelings for the gift you have brought with you: the Mobile Reanimation Unit, which I see displayed here, as a tangible sign of filial affection for the Pope and of Christian solidarity, because it is destined to aid, protect and save human lives with its technical equipment.

Let my praise go to those who have wished to promote this fine initiative and have made their contribution to it, and in particular to the zealous Central Ecclesiastical  Assistant, Mons. Fiorenzo Angelini, the members of the Central Council, and the Regional Delegates and Presidents of the diocesan Sections. I express  a special tribute, for their generous contribution, to the Doctors and numerous hospital Chaplains and Sisters who are nurses in the diocese of Rome, who have wished to reaffirm in this way their special tie of ecclesial communion with their Bishop.

On this happy occasion I wish to leave with you also an exhortation: you who work in the medical service, always have a high concept of your mission, which “because of its nobility, usefulness and ideality, is very close to the priest’s own vocation”, as I already said to you at the preceding meeting (cf. Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, I, 1978, p.436).

May you be strengthened in carrying out your duty precisely by the awareness of making an indispensable contribution to the protection and defence of human life, that life which bears in it the stamp of God the Creator, who formed man in his image and likeness. May this awareness  cast a religious light on your work and help you to see always in the sick person the suffering body of Christ.

I accompany your activity with these wishes and, while I hope that I always be sustained by noble and Christian feelings, I pray to her  whom you invoke  as “Salus Infirmorum” to assist and reward those of you who, with good intentions and good deeds, use their talent and their work to restore health and serenity to so many brothers of ours, sorely tried by pain and illness.

May the Apostolic Blessing, which I warmly impart to you, your dear ones and all your colleagues and friends, sustain you.

John Paul II